On Tuesday, April 13, the AP Stylebook advised on Twitter that official copywriters should stop using the term "mistress" to describe women involved in a sexual relationship with a married man.
AP indicated "mistress" has no male equivalent and tends to attribute sole responsibility for an affair to the woman. By doing so, it reinforces patriarchal misogyny.
We added this guidance last year; it's not new. We understand it's problematic that the alternative terms fall shor… https://t.co/7EY6qBGyZe— APStylebook (@APStylebook)1618407920.0
Twitter had a field day making jokes about the AP Stylebook's tweet.
@APStylebook Instead of normalizing adultery by switching from “mistress” to destigmatized terms like “friend” or “… https://t.co/crcNYaaxmG— Hamp Oldshue (@Hamp Oldshue)1618411045.0
@BettyBowers @ewindham3 @APStylebook Here you go! https://t.co/YcaJBufCy7— GrowlingAtTheSun (@GrowlingAtTheSun)1618351949.0
@jackshafer @APStylebook George Merriam is rolling over in his box or chest used for burying a corpse— Mark Bauer (@Mark Bauer)1618351194.0
According to Fox News, however, the word "mistress" was just the latest victim of liberal "cancel culture."
On The Faulkner Focus—part of the network's block of "real news" instead of pundit commentary—host Harris Faulkner and guest Joe Concha spent several minutes frustratedly riffing about the injustice of "mistress" being taken away from them.
Folks, what are we outraged about today? https://t.co/Fry2vaNDM7— Justin Baragona (@Justin Baragona)1618415366.0
They spent nearly 3 minutes on this topic, culminating in this absolutely exquisite moment from Joe Concha: "Mistr… https://t.co/l08V0AtRxi— Justin Baragona (@Justin Baragona)1618416063.0
After clinging desperately to the word "mistress" for several minutes, Concha exclaimed:
"A little disclaimer: My mother-in-law is a big fan of your show. I want to be clear I'm only talking about the term 'mistress.' None of that going on here. Very much happy with your daughter, ma'am. Just want to make that very clear."
@ParkerMolloy Fox News personalities wading into the “mistress” discourse seems like playing with fire.— Dan Bennett (@Dan Bennett)1618416306.0
Many people also noted the word "definition" was misspelled in the network's chyron throughout the entire segment.
@justinbaragona "Definiton?"— Kevin Gannon (@Kevin Gannon)1618416475.0
@justinbaragona The misspelling of “definition”— GeorgeW2020 (@GeorgeW2020)1618415764.0
Concha wondered whether AP would prefer the term "goomah," saying:
"Not quite sure what that means, but I would, I assume that it's a cinnamon in this case."
He probably meant synonym.
@justinbaragona Seeing as this issue seems to affect a great number of republicans, I’m surprised they have problems with it— D (@D)1618417107.0
@justinbaragona AP is suggesting goomah— Jackson Sanders (@Jackson Sanders)1618415446.0
@justinbaragona IE men cheating with married women don't like being called a "mistress" because historically it's a… https://t.co/LtcZ05K3Cm— Lily Scott (@Lily Scott)1618424024.0
It's hard to imagine what would be on Fox News if the hosts weren't constantly spreading fear of "cancel culture."
"'Mistress' has been canceled, go figure. Who would've thought that mistresses would be canceled? Even that has fallen under cancel culture."
Fox News. The same thing you're (paid to be) outraged about every other day. https://t.co/qPmhrat2d8— DB Lloyd (@DB Lloyd)1618417387.0
Twitter mocked the Fox hosts for their obsession with a subject that was far from important news.
It’s weird to me when people who aren’t copy editors care about changes to the AP Stylebook. https://t.co/UhFqT9kZWR— Melissa Ballard Auen (@Melissa Ballard Auen)1618416931.0
I watched this because I couldn't figure out why anyone would defend the use of this 19th century word. I still don… https://t.co/mG6PvFCpVS— King Kaufman (@King Kaufman)1618416859.0
Hopefully, following the devastating loss of the word "mistress," the hosts over at Fox News will be able to pull themselves together enough to go back on the air soon.